Will Giancarlo Stanton Reach 60 Homers in Season’s Final Weekend?

giancarlo stanton

Matthew Jordan

Friday, September 29, 2017 3:53 PM GMT

Friday, Sep. 29, 2017 3:53 PM GMT

The 2017 Major League Baseball regular season has reached its final weekend, and all eyes will be on Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton as he attempts to reach the magical number of 60 home runs.

There’s not a ton of drama team-wise in baseball’s final weekend. The American League playoff field is set with Boston (East), Cleveland (Central) and Houston (West) as division champions. The Yankees are going to host the Minnesota Twins in the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday. The Indians are +160 favorites at BetOnline to win the AL pennant.

In the National League, the division winners are the Nationals (East), Cubs (Central) and Dodgers (West) – the same three division champions as 2016. As of this writing it’s not 100 percent set, but almost surely the Arizona Diamondbacks will host the division rival Colorado Rockies in Wednesday’s NL Wild Card Game. The Dodgers are +135 favorites to win the NL pennant at 5Dimes.

Thus, arguably the story of the weekend will be Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton as he attempts to become only the sixth player to reach 60 homers in a season. Some would argue that Stanton would become just the third to do it because of steroid assumptions surrounding Barry Bonds (MLB record 73 dingers in 2001), Mark McGwire (hit at least 65 twice) and Sammy Sosa (hit at least 63 three times). That leaves only Roger Maris (61 in 1961) and Babe Ruth (60 in 1927).

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Stanton has been scorching hot since the All-Star break to reach 59 homers. Entering Friday, he has 33 bombs since the break. His 47 dingers while batting in the No. 2 batting spot have set a major-league mark, topping the 46 hit by Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews in 1959. On Thursday against the Braves, Stanton went yard twice, the 10th time this season he has had multiple homers in a game, the most since Albert Pujols had 10 in 2009. Only Hank Greenberg in 1938 and Sosa in 1998 had more with 11 each.

What makes this weekend in Miami even more interesting is that it could be Stanton’s final three games in a Marlins uniform. The team has been sold to a group that includes Derek Jeter, and there’s speculation the Marlins will look to trade Stanton and his exorbitant salary ($25 million in 2018, and it only goes up from there) while his value is the highest it ever will be. The Jeter group wants to cut payroll substantially.

What are the chances that Stanton reaches 60 or even passes Maris for the unofficial record? Here are Atlanta’s probable starting pitchers this weekend – all rookies -- and Stanton’s career numbers against them.

Friday -- Luiz Gohara (1-3, 4.63 ERA in four career big-league starts): Stanton has never faced him.

Saturday -- Lucas Sims (3-5, 4.85 ERA in 13 career big-league outings): Stanton is 1-for-4 off him, no homers.

Sunday -- Max Fried (1-1, 3.74 ERA in eight career big-league outings): Stanton is 1-for-2 off him with a solo shot.

Gohara and Fried are lefties and Stanton has only 15 homers off southpaws compared to 44 off right-handers, although he has way more at-bats against righties. The only other Atlanta pitchers Stanton has homered off are Rex Brothers (one in two at-bats; he could come on in relief), Ian Krol (one in two at-bats; he could come on in relief), R.A. Dickey (two in 29 at-bats; Dickey is a starter), Mike Foltynewicz (one in 11 at-bats; Folty is a starter), and Julio Teheran (three in 35 at-bats; Teheran is a starter).

I give Stanton odds of +175 to hit 60 and +2000 to pass Maris with 62. Look for daily player props on Stanton at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks.

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